Interview: Brandy Purdy

Well you know me, I’m a sucker for Tudor fiction. The best part is, I know I’m not alone! So for all you Tudor fiction fans out there, I’ve got an interview with Brandy Purdy I know you are going to enjoy!

I’m a complete Tudor fiction nut, so I was pleasantly surprised to stumble up on the various books you’ve written. Is there a favorite work you’ve completed so far?

Thank you very much. Every book I write is different, each one has its unique personality and problems, rather like children. Each one is special to me in its own way for different reasons. For instance, my first novel The Confession of Piers Gaveston, I often say is the book that saved my sanity, it helped me through a very difficult time after my mother’s death, it was the first book I ever wrote and no one really took me seriously or thought I would amount to anything, so even though it gets the least attention of my books I have a particular loyalty to my Gaveston. And my curiosity about Lady Rochford’s motives in accusing her husband George Boleyn and his sister Anne of incest and the effects of guilt on a person who does something like that, led me to write The Boleyn Wife (published as The Tudor Wife by Emily Purdy in the UK) and also helped me through a difficult time in my life. But sometimes it goes the other way around, the book I am writing now, about Amy Robsart, was a book I always wanted to write ever since I first read about the mystery surrounding her death in a book of unsolved mysteries I got from the library when I was a little girl. I was so excited when my publisher approved the project and when Chris Skidmore’s book Death and The Virgin came out which contained evidence long lost. It felt like the perfect time to write this book. But as I was writing it a relationship that meant the world to me, and I had such great hopes for, ended and left me completely devastated, eerily mirroring the chapters I had already written several months previously about the relationship between Robert and Amy Dudley, so the book that I thought was going to be my favorite will always symbolize a very painful loss and betrayal to me.

You mention on your website that you write “historical fiction from a unique perspective.” Tell us a little bit more about that.

I love the challenge of taking a historical figure who is largely silent in the historical record, someone whose voice and personality and perhaps even their appearance have been lost in the mists of history and trying to give them a voice as I have done with Piers Gaveston, Lady Rochford, and in my work in progress Amy Robsart. I am a very emotional person and writer, so with me, its not all about facts and figures and the intricacies of politics but rather the head and heart of the subject. Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, or a little of both, but I always try to tell a good story that will inspire a reader not already well versed in the subject to want to learn more. When I first discovered historical fiction, the books I enjoyed always lead me to the biography and non-fiction sections of the library to learn the facts behind the fiction, and I hope my books do that for others as well. I believe historical fiction often embroiders on the framework of bare fact and knowing those facts often leads me to appreciate a novelist’s creativity even more.

What’s next for you?

My current work in progress, which if all goes well, I will finish this month and meet my deadline, is a novel about the love triangle between Robert Dudley, Queen Elizabeth I, and his wife, Amy Robsart Dudley who died under mysterious circumstances.

Where can we learn more about you?

I have a website and two blogs, my main one where I review books I read and post updates about my writing career and another one about real people in historical fiction and I am on Facebook as Brandy Purdy – Emily Purdy.

Books by Brandy Purdy:

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